|FEDERATED STATES OF
Federated States of Micronesia
Federated States of Micronesia
Joined United Nations: 17 September 1991
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
Updated 04 November 2012
106,487 (July 2012 est.)
President since 11 May 2007
President and Vice President elected by Congress from among
the four senators at large for a four-year term (eligible for a
second term); election last held 11 May 2011; note - a
proposed constitutional amendment to establish popular
elections for president and vice president failed
Next scheduled election: May 2015
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT
According to the Federated States of Micronesia Constitution
the President is both the Chief of State and Head of Government
|DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Chuukese 48.8%, Pohnpeian 24.2%, Kosraean 6.2%, Yapese 5.2%, Yap outer islands 4.5%, Asian 1.8%,
Polynesian 1.5%, other 6.4%, unknown 1.4% (2000 census)
Roman Catholic 52.7%, Protestant 41.7% (Congregational 40.1%, Baptist 0.9%, Seventh-Day Adventist 0.7%), other
3.8%, none or unspecified 0.8% (2000 Census)
Constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 3 November 1986
and the Amended Compact entered into force May 2004 ; 4 states; Legal system is based on adapted Trust Territory laws,
acts of the legislature, municipal, common, and customary laws
Executive: President and Vice President elected by Congress from among the four senators at large for a four-year term
(eligible for a second term); election last held 11 May 2011 (next to be held in May 2015; note - a proposed
constitutional amendment to establish popular elections for president and vice president failed
Legislative: Unicameral Congress (14 seats; 4 - one elected from each state to serve four-year terms and 10 - elected
from single-member districts delineated by population to serve two-year terms; members elected by popular vote)
elections: elections for four-year term seats last held 8 March 2011 (next to be held in March 2013)
Judicial: Supreme Court
English (official and common language), Chuukese, Kosrean, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Ulithian, Woleaian, Nukuoro,
The Federated States of Micronesia are located on the Caroline Islands in the western Pacific Ocean. The ancestors of
the Micronesians settled there over 4,000 years ago. A decentralized chieftain-based system eventually evolved into a
more centralized economic and religious empire centered on Yap. Most linguistic and archaeological evidence indicates
that the islands were first discovered and settled between two and three thousand years ago. The first settlers are often
described as Austronesian speakers possessing horticultural skills and highly sophisticated maritime knowledge. These
first settlers are thought to have migrated eastward from Southeast Asia to Yap. From there, some migrated south to
Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and New Caledonia, and later to Kiribati and the Marshall Islands. The oral
histories of the Micronesian people indicate close affiliations and interactions in the past among the members of the island
societies comprising the present-day FSM. The Lelu ruins in Kosrae (1400 AD) and the Nan Madol ruins of Pohnpei
(1000 AD) are impressive reminders of the accomplishments of these early peoples. European explorers - first the
Portuguese in search of the Spice Islands (Indonesia) and then the Spanish - reached the Carolines in the 16th century,
with the Spanish establishing sovereignty. In 1914 German administration ended when the Japanese navy took military
possession of the Marshall, Caroline and Northern Mariana Islands. Japan began its formal administration under a League
of Nations mandate in 1920. During this period, extensive settlement resulted in a Japanese population of over 100,000
throughout Micronesia while the indigenous population was about 40,000. Sugar cane, mining, fishing and tropical
agriculture became the major industries. World War II brought an abrupt end to the relative prosperity experienced during
Japanese civil administration. By the War's conclusion most infrastructure had been laid waste by bombing, and the
islands and people had been exploited by the Japanese Military to the point of impoverishment. The United Nations
created the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI) in 1947. Ponape (then including Kusaie), Truk, Yap, Palau, the
Marshall Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands, together constituted the TTPI. The United States accepted the role of
Trustee of this, the only United Nations Trusteeship to be designated as a "Security Trusteeship," whose ultimate
disposition was to be determined by the UN Security Council. As Trustee the US was to "promote the economic
advancement and self-sufficiency of the inhabitants." On May 10, 1979, four of the Trust Territory districts ratified a new
constitution to become the Federated States of Micronesia. The neighboring trust districts of Palau, the Marshall Islands,
and the Northern Mariana Islands chose not to participate. The Honorable Tosiwo Nakayama, the former President of
the Congress of Micronesia, became the first President of the FSM and formed his Cabinet. The FSM signed a Compact
of Free Association with the U.S., which entered into force on November 3, 1986, marking Micronesia's emergence from
trusteeship to independence. Under the Compact, the U.S. has full authority and responsibility for the defense of the
FSM. This security relationship can be changed or terminated by mutual agreement. The Compact provides U.S. grant
funds and federal program assistance to the FSM. Amended financial assistance provisions came on-line in FY 2004. The
basic relationship of free association continues indefinitely.
Sources: Wikipedia: History of the Federated States of Micronesia; Federated States of Micronesia Welcome
Economic activity consists primarily of subsistence farming and fishing. The islands have few mineral deposits worth
exploiting, except for high-grade phosphate. The potential for a tourist industry exists, but the remote location, a lack of
adequate facilities, and limited air connections hinder development. Under the original terms of the Compact of Free
Association, the US provided $1.3 billion in grant aid during the period 1986-2001; the level of aid has been
subsequently reduced. The Amended Compact of Free Association with the US guarantees the Federated States of
Micronesia (FSM) millions of dollars in annual aid through 2023, and establishes a Trust Fund into which the US and the
FSM make annual contributions in order to provide annual payouts to the FSM in perpetuity after 2023. The country's
medium-term economic outlook appears fragile due not only to the reduction in US assistance but also to the current slow
growth of the private sector.
Source: CIA World Factbook (select Federated States of Micronesia)
Politics of the Federated States of Micronesia takes place in a framework of a federal presidential representative
democratic republic, whereby the President of the Federated States of Micronesia is both head of state and head of
government. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and
parliament. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.
The internal workings of the Federated States of Micronesia are governed by the 1979 constitution, which guarantees
fundamental human rights and establishes a separation of governmental powers. The Federation is in free association with
the United States; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 3 November 1986. The Federated States of
Micronesia elects on national level a head of state (the president) and a legislature. Only non-partisans have been elected.
The president is elected for a four year term by the parliament. There are no political parties in Micronesia, though they
are not banned. Political allegiances depend mainly on family- and island-related factors.
The judiciary is headed by the Supreme Court, which is divided into trial and appellate divisions. The president appoints
judges with the advice and consent of the Congress. Andon Amaraich was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court until his
death in January 2010.
Source: Wikipedia: Politics of Federated States of Micronesia)
Major consumer of cannabis.
|HUMAN RIGHTS STATEMENTS, ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUES
|2011 Human Rights Report: Federated States of Micronesia
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
May 25, 2012
The Federated States of Micronesia is a constitutional republic composed of four states: Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap.
Individual states enjoyed significant autonomy and traditional leaders retained considerable influence, especially in Pohnpei and Yap.
The elected unicameral Congress selects the president from among its four members elected from at-large state districts. On May
10, Congress reelected Emanuel Mori as president. The most recent elections for Congress, held in March, were considered
generally free and fair, despite technical problems and some allegations of fraud in Chuuk. Security forces reported to civilian
Continued discrimination and violence against women and widespread corruption constituted to be the most prevalent human rights
problems in the country.
Other reported human rights problems included judicial delays, domestic violence, and child neglect.
In some instances the government took steps to punish officials and their friends who committed abuses, but in many instances
impunity was a problem
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4 February 1998
Concluding observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child : Micronesia (Federated States of).
COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 44 OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Federated States of Micronesia
2. The Committee expresses its appreciation to the State party for the submission of its initial report and its written answers to the
list of issues. The Committee is encouraged by the frank, self-critical and cooperative tone of the report and of the dialogue. The
Committee, however, notes with regret that the data in the report were not up to date. The Committee also regrets the fact that
some questions remained unanswered. The Committee welcomes the commitment by the delegation to answer those questions in
B. Positive aspects
3. The Committee takes note of the establishment in 1995 of the President's National Advisory Council for Children (PNACC),
together with the state-level Advisory Councils for Children.
4. The Committee notes the draft legislation on sexual abuse and exploitation of children which is presently before Congress.
C. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation of the Convention
5. The Committee takes note of the particular nature of the Federation, its geographical configuration comprising 607 islands, the
relatively small population composed of a number of different and isolated communities, as well as the changes in the economic
D. Principal subjects of concern
6. The Committee is concerned that domestic legislation does not fully conform to the provisions and principles of the Convention.
In particular, the Committee is concerned at the absence of legislation regulating child labour providing for a minimum age for
employment, the absence of a clear definition of the minimum age for criminal responsibility, the low minimum age for sexual
consent, the lack of harmonization between the different ages of sexual consent among the four states, and the lack of legislation
on neglect, abuse and sexual exploitation. The Committee is also concerned at the possible conflicts between customary and
statutory law, in particular for marriage and adoption.
7. The Committee is concerned that the National Plan of Action for Children (1995-2004) is still in draft form.
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Freedom in the World Report- 2012
Political Rights Score: 1
Civil Liberties Score: 1
Parliamentary elections held in March 2011 were deemed free and fair. The new Congress reelected President Emanuel Mori and
Vice President Alik L. Alik in May. Meanwhile, the Federated States of Micronesia continued to expand its financial ties with China.
Compact funds represent about one-third of the FSM’s national income. An amended compact came into effect in 2003 to extend
this core commitment for another 20 years. The federal Congress agreed in 2005 to distribute larger shares of compact funds to
each of the FSM’s four states. A new system to track funded projects was adopted in 2009 to demonstrate improved transparency
and accountability in the use of compact funds.
The March 8, 2011 legislative elections, in which all candidates were independents, were deemed free and fair. In May, the new
Congress reelected President Emanuel Mori and Vice President Alik L. Alik.
In November 2011, state delegates to the national legislative conference agreed to address human trafficking. They also agreed to
form a task force to evaluate the impact of the Compact of Free Association on FSM citizens living in the United States, for whom
the compact provides broad access to education, health, and social services.
In December, the national government returned fiscal power to the Chuuk and Kosrae state governments. Memoranda of
understanding between the federal and two state governments signed in April 2007 allowed federal administration of the states’
discretionary funds and disbursement from compact transfers after they experienced severe fiscal difficulties.
The FSM has been expanding its ties with China, which is one of only four countries in which the FSM has a permanent embassy.
In 2010, the FSM named China as the preferred candidate to receive exclusive fishing rights in FSM waters. Chinese aid to the
FSM includes financing expansion of the Chuuk airport terminal and providing scholarships for FSM students to study in China.
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Suggested recommendations to States considered in the ninth round of the Universal Periodic Review, November 2010
1 September 2010
Recommendations to the government of Micronesia
Ratification of international human rights standards
· To ratify the outstanding core international human rights treaties, in particular:
- The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and its Optional Protocol and the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols;
- The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, making the declarations set out in
Articles 31 and 32, and to implement it in national law, in accordance with conventional and customary international law;
- The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and to implement it in national
law, in accordance with conventional and customary international law;
- The Convention on the non-applicability of statutory limitations to war crimes and crimes against humanity, without making
prohibited reservations and to implement it in national law in accordance with conventional and customary international law.
International Criminal Court
· To ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and to implement it in national law in accordance with conventional
and customary international law;
· To ratify the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Criminal Court and to implement it in national law.
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UN Human Rights Council: A Stunning Development Against Violence
Unprecedented Support for Statement on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
March 22, 2011
In a stunning development for the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, at the United Nations Human Rights
Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, today, Colombia delivered a Joint Statement during General Debate (Agenda Item 8 - Follow-up and
implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action) that called on States to end violence, criminal sanctions and
related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and urged the Human Rights Council to address
these important human rights issues. The statement was delivered on behalf of a broad grouping of 85 States from all regions of the
Today's statement enjoyed the support of the largest group of countries to-date, on the topic of sexual orientation, gender identity
and human rights. It builds on a similar statement delivered by Norway at the Human Rights Council in 2006 (on behalf of 54
States), and a joint statement delivered by Argentina at the General Assembly in 2008 (on behalf of 66 States). It is clear that every
time these issues are addressed there is measurable increase in state support.
During the same general debate, an intervention delivered by Nigeria on behalf of the African Group, still reaffirmed the critical
point that "laws that criminalize sexual orientation should be expunged". Other UN Member States and entities, for example, the
Russian Federation and the Holy See, also spoke out against violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. South
Africa, a signatory to the State joint statement, emphasized in a separate intervention, that sexual orientation is not a new issue for
that country, and called for an inter-governmental process to ensure open dialogue on the issue.
Earlier in this 16th session of the Human Rights Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, had
stated to the Council:
"We are not trying to create new or special rights. We are simply trying to address the challenges that prevent millions of people
from enjoying the same human rights as their fellow human beings just because they happen to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or
A powerful civil society statement was delivered on behalf of 119 organizations from over 60 countries welcoming the Joint
Statement. Civil society also encouraged future dialogue within the Council, with the support of those States which did not yet feel
able to join the statement, but which share the concern of the international community at these systemic human rights abuses. They
also reiterated that the Council cannot refuse to address or discuss human rights violations against any individuals.
A group of 19 National Human Rights Institutions, including those from Korea, Senegal and South Africa, also delivered a strong
statement on the importance of condemning human rights abuses based on sexual orientation and gender identity. These institutions
are important for addressing the human rights violations - including investigating complaints, reviewing laws and policies, holding
national inquiries and public education - to better protect and promote the rights of LGBTI people.
The Joint Statement supports what UN human rights bodies have repeatedly expressed: that no one should face rights violations
because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Since the UN Human Rights Committee's landmark decision in 1994,
affirming that sexual orientation is a protected ground against discrimination, United Nations experts have repeatedly acted against
abuses that target LGBT people, including killings, torture, rape, violence, disappearances, and discrimination in many areas of life.
UN treaty bodies have called on states to end discrimination in law and policy. The Human Rights Committee monitors State
Parties' compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Signatories to the Human Rights Council joint statement include: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium,
Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba,
Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia,
Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania,
Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New
Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia,
Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Ukraine,
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, and the Former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
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Address by H.E. Emanuel Mori
President of the Federated States of Micronesia
Before the 67th United Nations General Assembly
New York, 27 September 2012
Today our world continues to face numerous arduous challenges that require an urgent and collective response. Many of the
gravest threats to the Member States of this assembly, including countries like mine, the Federated States of Micronesia, are simply
beyond the abilities of our individual countries to single-handedly address, even with our most aggressive and concentrated efforts.
To speak before this august body today is an honor and an opportunity, I must take, to encourage international cooperation to help
address these challenges.
The biggest challenge we face today in Micronesia has continued to be climate change, not just the projections of future loss and
damage, but the dangerous impacts that my people are experiencing everyday. Sadly, to date no significant progress has been made
on climate change mitigation. Time and again, I have asked, "How do I tell my people that their plight and their future lie in the
hands of those most responsible for greenhouse gases?"
From our viewpoint we must step up our collective effort to confront global climate change more urgently and more creatively.
What is needed now is to close the ambition gap. I therefore call on major emitters to step up their level of commitment under the
Kyoto Protocol. Our very existence depends on it. Without international cooperation and assistance, we are helpless against the
adverse impacts of climate change.
Our health care system is increasingly under stress and constant challenge from the growing burden of Non-communicable
diseases (NCDs) that has reached an epidemic proportion in the Pacific. While we accept that primary responsibility for health rests
with our government, we are, however, seeking the assistance from the international community in capacity building, institutional
strengthening, and policy formulation.
While we recognize the contributing effects of nutrition and lifestyle in this epidemic, we are also mindful of the fact that climate
change has magnified this challenge by its threat to food security and the traditional lifestyle of Micronesians.
The FSM supports greater participation of women in social, political, and economic development. We look to development partners
to enhance our investment in ensuring that their potentials are nurtured and realized through quality education, healthcare services,
and security measures against domestic violence and gender-based violence. It is only appropriate that measures to empower
women to be true participants in nation-building should be locally driven.
We have embarked on mainstreaming their views, interests, and contributions into national development policies. We recognize and
appreciate the assistance extended by the United Nations system and our development partners to support our national policies to
enhance gender equality.
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THE DOMESTIC APPLICATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA
by Associate Justice Dennis K. Yamase Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia
November 24, 2010
The domestic application of human rights is of paramount importance to the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)2 as the FSM
recognizes and assures the universal human rights and individual dignity of each person. The FSM has done so by enshrining many
of the international human rights standards and norms in its Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM Constitution).3
The FSM has enacted national laws that help protect an individual’s civil and constitutional rights, and the Supreme Court of the
Federated States of Micronesia (FSM Supreme Court) has upheld the rights of persons where there have been violations of those
rights by the government.4 The FSM has also acceded to various international treaties which help to further assure human rights,
especially with regard to women and children.
This paper analyzes the domestic application of human rights in the Federated States of Micronesia5 by examining conditions in the
FSM and national action that has helped to ensure compliance with international human rights standards and norms, and
international treaty obligations. These include, but are not limited to: the Declaration of Rights6 and other provisions7 included in the
FSM Constitution; FSM national laws8 allowing the government to be sued for violations of an individual’s civil and constitutional
rights; FSM Supreme Court decisions upholding the rights of individuals and interpreting treaty provisions; and international treaty
obligations of the FSM. This article will focus on the FSM national government and its judicial branch, the FSM Supreme Court.
The FSM Supreme Court is a court of limited jurisdiction with both trial and appellate divisions and is the highest appellate court for
matters under its jurisdiction.9 It should be recognized at the outset that each of the FSM’s four constituent states10 of Chuuk11,
Kosrae12, Pohnpei13, and Yap14 also have provisions in their respective constitutions and state laws which help to assure human
rights similar to the national constitutional and statutory provisions.15 This paper will refer to state constitutional and statutory
provisions in general terms and does not address municipal, local or land courts.16
II. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Related FSM Constitutional and Statutory Provisions, and Court
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR),17 in its preamble, recognizes the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable
rights of all people as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace, and that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.
The UDHR set forth 30 articles dealing with various aspects of human rights. The first 21 articles are generally related to civil and
political rights, with the remaining articles related to economic, social, and cultural rights.
The following subsection discusses the articles of the UDHR that provide for recognition and protection of human rights that are
ensured byFSM and state constitutional provisions, national and state laws, and decisions of the FSM Supreme Court. The FSM
National Government and the state and local governments, operate under the principles of a democratic, representative government,
and adhere to generally recognized practices of good governance and transparency. The FSM Supreme Court, and the state and
local courts of the FSM, respect and abide by the principles of the rule of law,18 judicial independence, and adhere to the
respective codes of judicial conduct and ethics that apply to them.19
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Palau to host first summit for women leaders
Friday, 13 Jul 2012
AN INAUGURAL summit for women leaders in both the government and non-government sector throughout Micronesia will be
held Aug. 1 to 3 at the Ngarachamayong Cultural Center, in Koror, Republic of Palau.
Delegates from the Freely Associated States of Micronesia, Republic of Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau and the U.S. territories
of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam are expected to attend the 2012 Micronesian Regional Women's
Summit: Weave and Balance the Basket: Strengthening Micronesian Women through Culture, Tradition and Knowledge to Meet
In preparation for the event, Interior Department Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Tony Babauta also met with the Women of
Micronesia Exchange Network, or WOMEN Inc., to discuss important women’s issues. The preliminary discussion was held to
help set the agenda.
WOMEN Inc. board member Dr. Melissa Taitano stated in a press release: “We have been in coordination with Assistant Secretary
Babauta, the Office of the President of the Republic of Palau, and assisting their women’s group, Mechesil Belau, to plan this
In the same press release, Babauta stated: “Supporting the summit is fundamental to the promotion and encouragement of active
engagement of women in all spheres of Micronesia’s respective island societies with issues ranging from education, employment,
ownership and control over resources, cultural preservation, political representation, institutional decision-making, care-giving,
household and community management.”
The formation of WOMEN Inc. was supported by the passage of MCES Resolution 17-04 by the Micronesian Chief Executives,
formally recognizing “that political, social and economic equity, gender equality and environmental justice are the cornerstones for
achieving a sustainable future, and that women are fundamentally linked to achieving success in this endeavor.”
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Alik L. Alik
Vice President since 11 May 2007
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